Meals on wheels provider Oakhouse Foods has launched an essentials range to allow its customers to order grocery products with their meals.

Oakhouse, which delivers a 300-strong range of frozen meals and desserts to 15,000 customers a week, is offering a selection of 290 products that range from Heinz Beanz and Fairy washing-up liquid to Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Whiskas catfood. The grocery products are delivered at no extra charge.

"The aim of this service is to provide the basic shopping customers can't get out to buy for themselves," said Oakhouse Foods marketing manager Hadi John.

"A packet of tea or a tin of beans can mean a lot when you've run out and can't get to shops. The service makes sense as we are already delivering meals to these people on a weekly basis and, from a customer perspective, their regular Oak­house driver is a familiar face.

"This extra touch has already proved popular with all the customers we have spoken to. We anticipate it could help elderly people who struggle unnecessarily to the shops or pay someone to do it for them."

Last month, frozen food retailer Eismann UK launched into meals on wheels with a new company called Country Home Foods.